Commonwealth local government calls for greater access to EU funds
Local government leaders from the three European Commonwealth countries – Cyprus, Malta and the UK – are calling on the EU to ensure that local government has a key role in delivering EU-funded programmes.
At their meeting in Cyprus on 7-8 June 2012, CLGF European members discussed local government access to EU funds and how this can be improved, and exchanged experiences on common challenges that they are currently facing in areas such as waste management, transport, the environment, energy, urban regeneration and cultural heritage.
The meeting, a meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) European members, was hosted by the Union of Cyprus Municipalities (UCM) and took place at the Stovolos Municipality. Attendees included the Mayor of Nicosia, representatives of the UCM, the Cyprus Ministry of Interior and Foreign Affairs, the Malta Ministry of Local Government, the Local Government Association of England and Wales, CLGF and other council and ministry representatives.
The group also expressed their concern at the present health hazard posed by the breakdown in waste collection in the occupied area of Nicosia which is affecting the entire city.
After the meeting CLGF Secretary-General Carl Wright said, “Cyprus is taking over the Presidency of the EU in July, so this was an opportune time for us to discuss local government access to the structural development cooperation and democracy and human rights funding instruments. As a result of our agreement at the meeting, we will be asking the EU to ensure local government has a key role in delivering EU-funded programmes, and support the reform of the financing instrument for development and other financing instruments to ensure that local government in the Commonwealth and elsewhere as its representative organisations such as CLGF have better recognition and access.”
Delegates also saw first hands some of the which have been implemented within the Objective 2 of the Structural Funds through the European Regional Development Programme, as well as the Cohesion Fund, including the Rehabilitation of Part of Kaimakli Core Area, the cultural Centre of Kaimakli with a museum and a library, the rehabilitation of part of Takt-El-Kale Area in the Walled City of Nicosia, the Children’s Educational Centre in the Walled City and the Contemporary Social and Cultural Services centre at the former Municipal home for the elderly. The trip included walking along the dividing line, where the Nicosia Master Plan project, supported by the Bi-communal Development Programme funded by USAID and UNDP, has completed a lot of projects along the line and in the historic core of the city.
You can download the final statement issued at the end of the Cyprus meeting here: Commonwealth local government calls for greater access to EU funds